"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Feb 042020

In 2006, Henry Cavill missed his chance to star as James Bond in Casino Royale because he was “a little chubby there,” according to director Martin Campbell. Perhaps this was his good fortune, since he made a better career instead as Clark Kent in Metropolis. Superman’s fictional city, according to vintage cartoons’ experts, is located somewhere in Delaware. The second smallest US state is not the first location you would associate with the movie glamour of casinos, but there is more there than meets the eye. Curious? You can learn about online gambling in Delaware with this guide; it’s a rapidly developing industry.

Back to gambling and movies: For sure, James Bond has been the main contributor to the glittering image of high society gambling. The seductive 007 has been hanging out in one or the other casino for decades, surrounded by hot ladies. But there are some other interesting movies on gambling, movies that span several decades but are still quite enjoyable. Here are five of them:

The story of the MIT Blackjack Team is depicted in “21” (2008), directed by Robert Luketic and starring Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth and Liza Lapira. Based on a best-selling book, Bringing Down the House, in its turn based on a true story, the movie follows the adventures of Ben Campbell, a mathematics major at MTI, who resorts to gambling to cover tuition costs. Ben and a group of friends learn cart counting techniques to beat casinos at blackjack.

“A small movie elevated by superb performances,” is what Rotten Tomatoes had to say about “The Cooler” (2003). Both the critics and the box office liked the sweet and sour story of unlucky Bernie Lootz (played by William H. Macy), who pays off his former gambling debts to casino boss Shelly Kaplow (Alec Baldwin) by killing high rollers’ action. Bernie is a natural carrier of bad luck but when he falls in love with cocktail waitress Natalie Belisario (Maria Bello) he becomes “lady luck” and his life is turned upside down, for good and evil.

“The first thing you have to say is: my name is Eddie Garret and I am an idiot,” is the advice given by his gambling addiction recovery sponsor to the hero of “Win It All” (2017). A Netflix little jewel, starring a very convincing Jake Johnson, a (relapsing) gambler fights the temptation to “borrow” money from the duffel bag that a mafia pal left in his custody.

Gambling is not all about casinos and Nicholas Cage is always a sure bet. If you in the mood for a solid, classic thriller, fast rewind to 1998 and enjoy “Snake Eyes,” a Brian De Palma conspiracy story. Cage is Rick Santoro, a brilliant and corrupt police detective who gets sucked into a plot revolving around a political homicide during a boxing match in Atlantic City Arena.

From manga to movie, “Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler” (2019) is a dark fantasy set in an imaginary Hyakkaou Private Academy, a prestigious college for the privileged, whose students are ranked by their gambling winnings. When lovely Yumeko Jabami arrives in Hyakkaou, she will draw the whole school down the dark tunnel of her maniacal, dangerous games. Directed by Hayato Kawai, distributed by GAGA Pictures, starring Minami Hambe and Mahiro Takasugi.

 Posted by on February 4, 2020  Add comments

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